Adventure Hooks: Welcome to the Sun & Moon Tavern (Part 2)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on August 25, 2010

We return to the Sun & Moon Tavern with 16 more adventure hooks. The tavern has been a long-standing staple in D&D. Adventurers head to the local tavern as soon as they return from their time abroad. They regale the locals with tales of their exploits and enjoy a few well deserved pints. Experienced heroes develop a reputation for hanging out at the local tavern, which makes it easy for prospective employers to find and hire them. Aspiring heroes also mull about taverns hoping to find work as a professional adventurer. But the tavern can be so much more than a place to recruit PCs.

If you’re going to use a tavern as a reoccurring setting in your campaign be sure to give it a creative name, or at least a name that has significance to the story. In my game The Sun & Moon Tavern was named to represent the twins who owned the establishment – one positive and outgoing, the other dark and mysterious. If you need help coming up with a tavern name, Wimwick put together a list of 118 Tavern Names and many of our readers added to that list in the comments. Once you’ve decided on a creative name don’t forget to describe the tavern as more than a simple watering hole. If the PCs are going to spend any significant amount of time there, put in the effort to describe the Tavern Trappings.

In Adventure Hooks: Welcome to the Sun & Moon Tavern (Part 1) I shared 15 adventure hooks that I created for a campaign that took place exclusively at the Sun & Moon Tavern – a resort that combined a tavern, inn and theater. Today I’ve got 16 more hooks to inspire DMs. Whether you choose to use them exactly as I’ve presented them, combine a few together or merely use them as a springboard to something completely off-kilter, it’s totally up to you.

Don’t forget that you can always use some of these scenarios as red herrings that have no actual bearing on the outcome of your campaign. See Preparing Red Herring in 6 Easy Steps for some ideas on how to travel down that adventure path.

  1. A comely young female comes to the inn hoping to be taken on as an apprentice Wizard. She has no money but agrees to work as a servant to prove her dedication and to save some cash. One day while cleaning a room she discovers a minor spell and tries to teach herself. The casting goes awry and she turns herself into a white mouse. Her fiancée comes looking for her a week after she disappears. Meanwhile the white mouse has befriended one of the twins.
  2. A group of Dwarves arrive at the inn and proceed to get really, really drunk. While they drink they tell stories of their adventures. The more they drink the louder they get and the more outrageous the tales become. It wouldn’t be so bad except that they’re all speaking in Dwarven – the only language any of them know.
  3. A pious Halfling arrives and begins harassing every Halfling at the inn. He explains that it’s his purpose to spread the word of his deity and to convert as many of his people as he can.
  4. An art dealer is looking to sell some rare paintings to the twins. He doesn’t want to pressure them into any hasty decisions so he takes a room for a few days while they consider the transaction. After a few days he claims that all of his art was stolen from his room.
    [In truth all of the crates were empty when he arrived. He’s looking to get a big settlement from the twins so that they avoid negative publicity.]
  5. An Eladrin Druid moves into the grove in the courtyard and refuses to leave. She constantly changes form into various animals.
  6. A small party of adventurers checks in to the inn. They explain that they plan to stay indefinitely while they perform research in the Wizards private library. At least one member of this party is a well known evil Wizard, yet no one seems alarmed by his presence.
  7. A retired Paladin sees a beautiful woman enter the bar one night and he swears that she is the spitting image of a woman he failed to rescue from a dragon 20 years earlier. He realizes that she cannot possibly be the same woman, but he is clearly shaken by the resemblance.
    [This is not just a case of mistaken identity. The woman was magically altered (or is a Changeling). The dragon the Paladin mentioned is using her minions to track down all the adventurers who tried to kill her over the years.]
  8. A Human (secretly a lycanthrope in man form) gets bullied one night in the tavern. He warns his assailants that he is dangerous and doesn’t want trouble. They don’t believe him and keep giving him a hard time.
    [The bullies are themselves lycanthropes, although only recently afflicted. They believe themselves invulnerable and are acting boisterous. What they don’t realize is that their victim is very powerful and can easily kill them if he chose to.]
  9. A young Rouge is doing slight of hand magic on stage. After the show, he continues his tricks off-stage, betting that he can fool the audience. Hour after hour he continues, however, he never looses. He is genuinely surprised at his unprecedented luck.
    [He found a strangely polished stone the day before and kept it for luck. It is in fact a luck stone and is quite valuable and very powerful.]
  10. A Changeling arrives at the bar in disguise and over the next few weeks begins killing patrons and assuming their identities.
  11. When a visiting nobleman arrives at the inn for a one-night stay, the PCs are hired by a mysterious stranger to assassinate him.
  12. One of the senior staff at the inn sets up a series of tests designed to judge one’s character (good vs. evil). The PCs are put through the gauntlet. If they’re judged to be trending towards evil she offers them a place in her thieves’ guild and instructs them to begin stealing from the guests’ rooms.
  13. A new cook creates a strange soup that everyone loves. The patrons can’t get enough of it. After a few weeks the twins decide to raise the prices of soup but no one complains.
    [The cook discovered a small supply of a strange herb that is highly addictive. He’s been slipping it into the soup. Unfortunately he’s almost out and has no idea where to get more. The twins have no idea that there’s a secret ingredient in the soup, they’ve just taken advantage of a good business opportunity.]
  14. A Paladin and his squire arrive at the inn and start passing judgment on all the guests. However, the Paladin’s moral compass is a bit off and his accusations offend a lot of truly honest people. One of the barflies, a retired Paladin, feels it’s his duty to set things right and he challenges the newcomer to a duel.
  15. One of the PCs finds a journal. The book clearly belongs to someone on staff. It outlines the author’s participation in a small thieving ring at the inn.
    [The author’s identity is not apparent from anything in the journal. The last entry is weeks old because the author has already left for good. However, many of their accomplices are still working at the inn.]
  16. One of the barflies, an old Wizard, creates a potion that makes people happy. He wants to share his discovery with everyone so he secretly slips a batch into the ale kegs. He is unaware that when the potion is mixed with alcohol it becomes toxic. Everyone who drinks a pint over the next few hours becomes terribly sick. The twins believe some intentionally tried to kill their best customers. The Wizard is embarrassed so he says nothing.

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